June 4, 2013

Hito Steyerl, In Free Fall, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

Hito Steyerl: In Free Fall
Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
Through June 22, 2013

Andrew Kreps Gallery presents HITO STEYERL’s first exhibition with the gallery, which featured the singular film work In Free Fall, 2010. Incorporating a trio of works - After the Crash, Before the Crash and Crash In Free Fall employs the setting and characters of an airplane junkyard in the Californian desert to tell the story of the current economic climate.

The space of the junkyard allows various ‘crash’ narratives to unfold, with the stories of actual crashes and the remnants and afterlife of these machines becoming metaphors for economic decline.  The works are an investigation of planes as they are parked during the economic downturn, stored and recycled, revealing unexpected connections between economy, violence and spectacle, finding perfect example in the form of the Boeing 4X-JYI, an aircraft first acquired by film director Howard Hughes for TWA, which was subsequently flown by the Israeli air force before finding its way to the Californian desert to be blown up for the Hollywood blockbuster Speed. Through intertwined narratives of people, planes and places Steyerl reveals cycles of capitalism incorporating and adapting to the changing status of the commodity, but also points at a horizon beyond this endless repetition.

Hito Steyerl is among the keenest observers of our thoroughly globalized, digitized condition. Her practice describes with uncommon precision the fluidity and mutability of images—how they are produced, interpreted, translated, packaged, transported, and consumed by a multitude of users. Most often, Steyerl’s art takes the form of video essays that comprise exhaustive research, montage, composite imagery, first-person voiceovers, and interviews. While her subjects vary widely, her work is consistently based on the premise that we are always implicated, consciously and unconsciously, in the stories that we tell. Hers is a documentary form that is emphatically transparent about its subjectivity and its uncertainty.

HITO STEYERL (b. 1966) is based in Berlin. She has had solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, E-flux in New York,  Picture This, Bristol; Collective, Edinburgh; Chisenhale Gallery, London, Villa Stuck, Munich; (all 2010); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2009); and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2008). Group exhibitions include the upcoming Venice Bienale, Taipei Biennial; 1st Ural Biennial; Gwangju Biennial; Antiphotojournalism, La Virreina, Barcelona; Horizons, BAK, Utrecht (all 2010); Dispersion, ICA, London; U-Turn Kvadriennale for Samtidskunst, Copenhagen (both 2008); documenta 12, Kassel (2007) and Manifesta 5, San Sebastian (2004).

Andrew Kreps Gallery, NYC, USA